Two Poems by Colin Dardis

Restless Drummer

Left hand hi-hat,
index finger for drumstick,
a steady tap mistaken
for fidgeting
against keys or coins,
wanting anything metallic.

Right hand, snare
on some hard surface,
bending fingernail
to plastic or tile
for a better sound,
a piccolo pitch.

Aside this makeshift tabor,
bring the left foot down,
a heel forming sound
or toes as talon,
thrumming carpet
for that deep dull beat.

Now combine.
Bring a middle finger in
for fills, trills and rolls,
your right foot stepping
for the odd double bass line.
In rhythm, everything’s fine.

On Asserting First Impressions

Much like the crème brûlée,
with all the sweetness trapped
underneath its burnt offering,
you need to crack the sugarcoat
before tapping into real richness.

Do not think of constituents,
all their cream, milk and sugar
masked with vanilla as attar.
Rather, accept what’s on the plate,
scored ramekin and all.

The blowtorch has not been kind
to some, so go easy with your spoon.


Colin Dardis is a poet, editor, and arts coordinator from Northern Ireland. His debut collection, the x of y, was released in 2018 from Eyewear. A new collection, The Dogs of Humanity, is forthcoming in 2019 from Fly on the Wall Press. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA.

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